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Elderly Man Killed After Fight at Crown Heights Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in New York

An elderly resident of Crown Heights Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation fought with his roommate and later died, according to a New York Daily News article dated November 15, 2019. Crown Heights Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation has since come under fire because they allegedly failed to notify the New York State Department of Health of this incident and failed to identify residents whose histories may lead them to abuse other residents.

“Tug of War”

What allegedly happened to lead to this nursing home resident’s unexpected death? The victim and his roommate allegedly got into an altercation over a pair of pants. Witnesses later called it a “tug of war.” When nursing home staff witnessed the roommate hitting the victim in the head, they separated the pair. Nursing home staff called 911; the victim’s injuries were very severe. He died three days later of a pre-existing heart condition.

The New York City Medical Examiner ultimately ruled the death a homicide; the victim’s roommate, however, still lives at the facility and has not been charged with a crime. The death remains under investigation, but the NYPD says they were never informed of the fight. The New York State Department of Health also maintains that the nursing home did not inform the agency of the fight, as required by state law. As soon as the New York State Department of Health learned what had happened, the agency opened an investigation, which is ongoing.

Nursing Home Abuse

A History of Deficiencies

This is far from the first time that Crown Heights Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a 295-bed facility owned by a private corporation, has found itself in trouble with the state. According to publicly-available inspection records obtained by ProPublica, Crown Heights Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was:

  • cited for one deficiency in January 31, 2019 inspection report
  • cited for nine deficiencies in a March 30, 2017 inspection report
  • cited for three deficiencies in a February 8, 2016 inspection report

What were these deficiencies? Government inspectors found several violations relating to the administration of medications. They found that staff overused psychotropic medications, failed to ensure that residents’ drug regimens were free from unnecessary drugs, and failed to ensure that a licensed pharmacist reviewed medications once a month.

Other deficiencies have to do with the development (or lack thereof) of patient care plans. Staff allegedly did not give residents the opportunity to participate in the developing their own care plans—if Crown Heights Nursing and Rehabilitation Center even developed Comprehensive Care Plans (CCPs), as government inspectors found that they sometimes did not make these plans. Once plans were in place, the staff allegedly failed to ensure that doctors examine resident care plans at every visit.

Staff allegedly failed to develop policies to prevent resident mistreatment and failed to ensure that the services provided met professional quality standards. Residents allegedly did not receive accurate assessments by a health professional. For example, Crown Heights Nursing and Rehabilitation Center allegedly did not perform pre-admission screenings of mentally ill and developmentally disabled residents.

Government inspectors also found deficiencies with the facility. They found that there were accident hazards, that bedrooms did not ensure visual privacy for residents, and failed to maintain proper housekeeping standards. According to its Nursing Home Compare profile, Crown Heights Nursing and Rehabilitation Center received six fire safety violations—double the national average.

If your loved one is a current or former resident of Crown Heights Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and you have concerns about nursing home abuse or neglect, don’t hesitate to contact a nursing home abuse attorney. Call (877) 238-4175 or email info@fkesq.com for your free case consultation.